There are few things we enjoy more than immersing ourselves in the bustling Bangkok streets, but occasionally, amongst the markets, street food, queues of people and standstill traffic, it can get a bit sweaty. Add to that the extraordinary heat of March/April and the thought of escaping amongst the clouds for a few hours seems like utter bliss. Frustratingly for budget backpackers, whilst you’re shuffling along the hot pavements with the crowds, you need only tip your head back and scan the skyscrapers to spot the tell-tale signs of the roof-top pools. Sadly, very few hostels offer this luxury – but imagine if you could use one of these 5* pools for free…

If you are so inclined, these are some top tips for pool crashing and enjoying the luxurious facilities of some of Bangkok’s finest hotels, for free:

Step 1. Look smart; the hotel staff have to believe you genuinely belong lying around such a fantastic pool. Swap the backpacker trademark slogan t-shirts for something plain and simple.


Slightly different from her usual backpacker look…

Step 2. Be confident. Strut in and don’t forget to smile at the doorman whilst offering him a breezy ‘Sawadee-ka!’ as if you do it everyday!

Step 3. Go straight to the lifts and press the button for the floor with ‘pool’ written next to it; if you can’t see that button just head for the top. Should there be a lift attendant simply ask for the pool, whilst smiling and asking about their day.


It’s a hard way to spend a day…

Step 4. Don’t take a towel, the most luxurious hotels have their own towels to use there and will generally lay them out for you on the sun lounger as you arrive.

Step 5. Always have a back-up story. If anyone asks, have a friend at the hotel who invited you. You only know their first name of course! At hotels where they charge hundreds a night, they don’t seem willing to question this alibi too much, not wanting to upset a possible guest.

Step 6. Enjoy… but don’t order drinks as they may ask for your room number. A lot of people fall at this final hurdle! This isn’t the case at all the plush hotels, so try and listen in to someone’s order before swimming up to the bar.

Bangkok is a resort-filled city, and pool crashing needn’t be a fine art. Some hotels have receptionists by the pool who charge non-guests to use the facilities for the day; if you wander into one of these, simply enquire about the price and go elsewhere, you won’t run out of hotels to choose from…

An alternative is to look for serviced apartments or condo conplexes; it is really rare for these not to have large and virtually empty pools, with less security than plush hotels.

Tanning nicely,

Charlotte & Sarah x


  1. Well done, and spot-on Charlotte and Sarah. The keys in your strategy are to be confident, and look and act like you belong there. I haven’t crashed any pools, but I’ve sat in quiet AC reading for an afternoon, used posh WCs, and free wifi. Great post! ~James


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